Team Suzuki Press Office – March 1.
Brandon Hartranft: RM-Z450 – 12th
Justin Bogle: RM-Z450 – 18th
Derek Drake: RM-Z250 – 9th
Brandon Hartranft matched his career-best Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross result in the premier 450 class inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at the weekend.
Hartranft’s pace and consistency aboard his Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance Suzuki RM-Z450 were the keys to his strong overall finish in the unique race format that scores three races to determine the night’s overall results.
Derek Drake and his BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki RM-Z250 built momentum through the 250 class races and capped the night inside the top ten. Hartranft’s Twisted Tea Suzuki teammate Justin Bogle laid down fast laps on the Texas track while Adam Enticknap had a practice crash that unfortunately will sideline him for a while.
Hartranft used strength and technique aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 to deliver three consistent rides as the Texas track broke down and the intensity of the Triple Crown format increased. With pressure high throughout the entire night, the 450-class sophomore kept his composure to match his career-best indoor result.
“We were way more consistent tonight compared to the last Triple Crown. In the last main event tonight, we ran ninth or 10th until about the halfway point. I’m just a little bit off the top 10 guys,” Hartranft said. “I know I say it every weekend, but I still think there’s more in me. I just gotta’ pop this little bubble and then I’ll be right there. Next week we race at Daytona so I’m looking forward to it,” added Hartranft.
Derek Drake nailed the 250 Race 2 start, putting his BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki RM-Z250 ahead all others heading into the first corner. Although he got shuffled back in the tight corner exit, he put in strong laps, numerous passes, and ended the night inside the top 10 of Race 3.
“The first Triple Crown of the season was hectic so I’m glad to get out of there safe and move on to the next round in Daytona,” Drake said. “I know what we need to work on so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Bogle’s night started strong, leading the top group four-abreast into the first corner of the opening 450 race with his Suzuki RM-Z450. Unfortunately, a night with too many tip overs and minor mistakes cost Bogle the strong result his lap times suggested he’s ready to deliver.
“I’m feeling a little bit better on the bike as far as practice and qualifying go, but I’m still struggling. We have a few things to figure out; just to get more comfortable and get faster,” Bogle explained. “The mains were rough. I had a crash and didn’t finish the second one. Not my best day at the office. I definitely belong further up in the pack than where I’ve been, so we’ll keep working to improve
Enticknap had a setback in Texas with a mistake in practice that will put him out with an injury. Although he’ll miss several rounds, he hopes to return to the series in the final third of the season.
“In free practice I felt great. The second lap of practice I went for the table-to-table jump and had a bad accident,” Enticknap reported. “I fractured my C7 vertebrae just a tiny bit so now we’re off 4-6 weeks.”
Preston Kilroy’s rookie supercross season is facing a stacked and full field of experienced indoor racers. The young rider took advantage of the Arlington event to gain more track time inside a stadium, but a points-paying night was not on the cards.
“I felt good in free practice then had a get off again in the first qualifying session.” Kilroy said after the event. “The track was pretty slick. It was hard to find traction in the whoops and they got me. Things haven’t been going the way I hoped, but I’m learning a lot each weekend.”
“Brandon matched his season best which was the shining spot of the day. Justin fell in each main event, so it was a trying day for him. It was also a tough day for Adam, who had a big wreck in the first qualifying session resulting in an injury that will set his season back. No surgery was needed, and he was back at the track helping the team by the night show,” said Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance Team Manager Dustin Pipes. “Adam brings a lot of energy to the team, and it felt like we lost some wind in our sails when he went out. Look for him to be back by the end of the series.”
Next week the Suzuki riders face another unique round, the Daytona supercross. The riders are ready to bring both their supercross and motocross skills to the unique challenges of the track inside the storied Trioval of Daytona International Speedway.